Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics

Celebrating the physics of all that flows. Ask a question, submit a post idea or send an email. You can also follow FYFD on Twitter and Google+. FYFD is written by Nicole Sharp, PhD.

Recent Tweets @
Posts tagged "faraday instability"

Much as I try to keep from getting repetitious, this was just too neat to pass up. This new music video for The Glitch Mob’s “Becoming Harmonious” is built around the standing Faraday waves that form on a water-filled subwoofer. The vibration patterns, along with judicious use of strobe lighting, produce some fantastic and kaleidoscopic effects. (Video credit: The Glitch Mob/Susi Sie; submitted by @krekr)

The recently released music video for Jack White’s “High Ball Stepper” is a fantastic marriage of science and art. The audio is paired with visuals based around vibration effects using both granular materials and fluids. There are many examples of Faraday waves, the rippling patterns formed when a fluid interface becomes unstable under vibration. There are also cymatic patterns and even finger-like protrusions formed by when shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluids get agitated. (Video credit: J. White, B. Swank and J. Cathcart; submitted by Mike and Marius)

Loris Cecchini’s "Wallwave Vibration" series is strongly reminiscent of Faraday wave patterns. The Faraday instability occurs when a fluid interface (usually air-liquid though it can also be two immiscible liquids) is vibrated. Above a critical frequency, the flat interface becomes unstable and nonlinear standing waves form. If the excitation is strong enough, the instability can produce very chaotic behaviors, like tiny sprays of droplets or jets that shoot out like fountains. In a series of fluid-filled cells, the chaotic behaviors can even form synchronous effects above a certain vibration amplitude. (Image credit: L. Cecchini; submitted by buckitdrop)

Paint is probably the Internet’s second favorite non-Newtonian fluid to vibrate on a speaker—after oobleck, of course. And the Slow Mo Guys' take on it does not disappoint: it's bursting (literally?) with great fluid dynamics. It all starts at 1:53 when the less dense green paint starts dimpling due to the Faraday instability. Notice how the dimples and jets of fluid are all roughly equally spaced. When the vibration surpasses the green paint’s critical amplitude, jets sprout all over, ejecting droplets as they bounce. At 3:15, watch as a tiny yellow jet collapses into a cavity before the cavity’s collapse and the vibration combine to propel a jet much further outward. The macro shots are brilliant as well; watch for ligaments of paint breaking into droplets due to the surface-tension-driven Plateau-Rayleigh instability. (Video credit: The Slow Mo Guys)

There’s something wonderfully serene about watching water droplets skate their way across the surface of a pool. Here the pool of water is being vibrated at a frequency just below the Faraday instability - meaning that no standing waves form on the surface. Instead, the bounce is just enough to create a thin layer of air between the droplet and the pool to prevent coalescence. With each bounce, gravity’s effect on the water tries to drain the air away, but each rebound lets more air rush in to hold the droplet up. Eventually, gravity wins and the droplets coalesce into the pool. In high-speed that process is mesmerizing, too. (Video credit: K. Welch)

When a fluid is vibrated, instabilities can form along its surface. With a sufficient amplitude, voids form inside the fluid and their collapse leads to a jet that shoots out from the fluid. A very different process leads to air cavities forming in a vibrated granular medium, but the jets produced are remarkably similar, as seen in this video. (Video credit: M. Sandtke et al.)

We’ve seen the Faraday instability on vibrating fluids (and granular materials) before. Here researchers explore the effect on a a network of fluid-filled cells. Each square is filled with liquid and small holes near the bottom of each cell ensure the liquid levels are the same throughout the array. Then the entire container is vibrated. Above the threshold frequency, standing waves form but do not interact. When the wave amplitudes grow high enough for fluid to get exchanged from cell to cell, patterns begin to form.  The waves in adjacent cells synchronize, eventually resulting in a regular pattern across the entire grid. Order out of chaos.(Video credit: G. Delon et al.)

The vibration caused by rubbing a Tibetan singing bowl excites standing waves in a Faraday instability on the surface of water in the bowl. As the amplitude of excitation increases, jets roil across the surface, creating a spray of droplets, some of which actually bounce on the surface as it vibrates. For more see the BBC and SciAm articles.

The Faraday instability forms when a fluid interface is vibrated. This high-speed video shows the differences in the shapes formed by a vibrated fluid interface when the two fluids are miscible—capable of mixing—and when they are immiscible—like oil and water. Note how the miscible interface breaks down quickly into turbulence, but the immiscible interface maintains a complex shape.